Hanım Ağa house in ancient Stratonikeia undergoes painstaking restoration
MUĞLA – Anadolu AgencyThe Republican-era Hanım Ağa house in the 3,500-year-old ancient city of Stratonikeia, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, is being restored with a special mortar and filled using spoons.
A number of artifacts from the Hellenistic, Roman Byzantine, Selcuk, Ottoman and Republican eras have been unearthed during excavations in Stratonikeia. The 100-year historical structure, which served as the house of a female agha in the 19th century, hopes to regain its magnificence after the restoration work.
The head of the Stratonikeia ancient city excavations, Professor Bilal Söğüt, said they are continuing archaeological excavations and restorations of important structures in the ancient city.
One of these works, he said, is the restoration of the Hanım Ağa house, which is one of the important structures in the Republic era.
“In accordance with the project, approved by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums Restorations Department, we are restoring the structure to its original. We are also reinforcing the whole structure with a material called ‘spoon mortar,’” Söğüt said.
He said the Turkish-era house, which is next to an assembly building in the ancient city, was taken under protection with this assembly building.
“The building stones are filled with mortar one by one. As we don’t touch the main skeleton of the building, we use a mortar that was used in the first years of the Republic. This is the most difficult but best way. We use first-class material here,” Söğüt added.
The work, which has been inspected by a restorer, conservator and construction experts, “could become a model both in Turkey and abroad. Filling the stones with mortar one by one in the whole building takes a long time. But good work requires more effort and these structures are very important to us,” he said.
Söğüt said they will use all the original furniture, doors, windows and cabinets in the house but will renew the decayed wood materials. “The work will end by the end of this year,” he added.
He also said the artifacts that have been unearthed in Stratonikeia will be revived with 3D technology to take the visitors journey in time.
“When the work is finished, visitors will also be able to see the Hanım Ağa house with gravure drawings,” Söğüt added.